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Is the NYT entering a new era on Israel?

By Jonathon Cook | February 1, 2014

The New York Times’ oped pages have recently been opening up to much more critical commentary on Israel. This trend has not been quite as dramatic as it may appear. Two strong recent opeds by Ali Jarbawi and Avi Shlaim looked like they had been made available to US audiences in the NYT but were actually only available in the international edition – or what used to be called the International Herald Tribune.

In a recent email, John Whitbeck explained that the NYT had made them all but impossible to find on its website:

I have subsequently discovered that [Shlaim’s article] is invisible on the Times’ website to anyone trying to check out published opinion articles. As was the case with the article by Ali Jarbawi entitled “The Coming Intifada”, … Avi Shlaim’s article can be found on the site only by searching the author’s name. … Accordingly, not only were these articles not deemed “fit to print” for domestic American readers, they can only be accessed online by someone who is already informed of their existence and is actively and assiduously searching for them.

However, by all accounts the NYT domestic print edition is going to print an oped by BDS leader Omar Barghouti tomorrow. If that happens, it will mark quite a milestone. Omar includes many issues usually unmentionable in the NYT. But more so than the content of his article, the fact that the NYT is prepared to give a platform to him and the boycott movement – currently viewed by Israel as an enemy potentially even greater than Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons – would truly constitute a revolution in what can be said in the US establishment’s paper of record.

Here is a link to the piece:

www.nytimes.com/2014/02/01/opinion/sunday/why-the-boycott-movement-scares-israel.html?_r=0

February 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

NYT Runs Editorial Demanding Cuts in Social Security and Medicare in News Section

CEPR | May 14, 2013

The Washington Post long ago abandoned the separation between news and editorials, routinely running pieces advocating cuts in Social Security and Medicare in its news section. It now appears as though the New York Times is following the Post’s lead.

A news story on the budget made repeated assertions that Social Security and Medicare must be cut. At one point it referred to:

“the inevitable pain that comes from curbing those huge and popular programs [Social Security and Medicare].”

Of course there is nothing inevitable about curbing spending on Social Security and Medicare and there is certainly not inevitable pain. The most obvious route for curbing costs in these programs from an economic standpoint would be cutting Medicare payments to drug companies, medical equipment companies, doctors and other providers. This would not be especially painful for anyone who does not derive income from the program.

Clearly the paper was expressing its desire to see these programs cut.

It later added:

“The longer the delay, the sharper and more immediate the changes Washington must eventually make to ease the long-term fiscal squeeze.”

Again, this is an invention of the NYT. There is no evidence that the country is up against any “long-term fiscal squeeze” or that anything would be gained by making cuts now.

The NYT, unlike the Post, generally keeps these sorts of political views on the opinion page. It is unfortunate that it appears to have departed from its standard practice with this article.

May 15, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | Comments Off on NYT Runs Editorial Demanding Cuts in Social Security and Medicare in News Section

NYT’s Lopsided Coverage of the Korean Conflict

By Michael McGehee | NYTX | April 2, 2013

It should go without saying that all sides of any conflict should refrain from provocations. And when nuclear weapons are involved this rule becomes even more important. But judging from the decades-long conflict in the Korean Peninsula between North Korea and South Korea/U.S., it’s difficult to find this balanced view at The New York Times. In the more than one dozen NYT articles published in the last couple of months which were reviewed to analyze news coverage of the conflict the bias and disparity in language is quite revealing, though predictable (to this day readers will not find a NYT journalist who referred to America’s invasion of South Vietnam in 1963 as an “invasion”).

According to the “paper of record,” one thing stands out: only North Korea “threatens”:

The headlines jump out at you with the claim that we are threatened by a foe. The articles themselves hold true to these depictions, but anything “our” side has done, or is doing, does not receive similar treatment.

Massive military exercises in the Korean Peninsula by South Korea, along with 40,000 U.S. troops (BBC)? Apparently not a threat according to the NYT, but rather an “exercise.” In all but one of the six articles bulleted above—“North Korea Threatens to Restart Nuclear Reactor”—the NYT manages to acknowledge that North Korea is responding to these “war games,” in which “whenever they happen, North Korea warns of war,” but whether it is seen as a threat to the North is never considered, or explored.

South Korea saying it will destroy the North’s “command leadership”? The NYT calls it “pushing back.”

South Korea “break[ing] a decades-old taboo by openly calling for the South to develop its own nuclear arsenal”? Why, that’s just harmless “flirting.”

The U.S. running “two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers on a practice sortie over South Korea”? NYT journalists Thom Shanker and Choe Sang-Hun write that the act “showed the United States’ ability to ‘provide extended deterrence to our allies in the Asia-Pacific region’ and to ‘conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will.’ ”

The U.S. pushing for new sanctions at the UNSC? Just an “order.”

In other words, the U.S. and South Korea can escalate a confrontation and then feign shock and outrage when the North responds with more escalation. Since nuclear weapons are involved the NYT should be devoting more space to the U.S.’s and South Korea’s reckless escalations than North Korea’s predictable reactionary saber-rattling, or at least provide balanced coverage of it.

The NYT regularly confirms that North Korea is being reactionary, though the disparity in language remains. While North Korea “threatens,” South Korea “flirts” and the U.S. “deters.” Readers of the NYT should be curious why it is that such dangerous escalations with “the most unpredictable country in Asia” gets such silent and biased coverage. If the NYT was doing their job the politics of this conflict would be closely considered and evaluated in their news coverage. There is nothing that North Korea has done, or is doing, that the United States does not support or tolerate with its allies. Human rights abuses and nuclear weapons programs are common in allied countries like Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Israel, Rwanda, India, and elsewhere around the world, yet it is North Korea, who is not aligned with the United States, that is singled out with sanctions and military threats (much like Iran).

That the United States would risk a possible nuclear war with a country it sees as “Blustering, Not Acting” is as reprehensible as North Korea’s behavior. And this observation deserves a place in news coverage, and if it were it is conceivable that public opinion would not only be better informed, but would turn against Washington over its actions and policies. Here is a thought: Perhaps the editors of the NYT know this and are acting as public relations consultants for Washington. If that’s not the case then readers ought to ask: Then what gives?

April 3, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , | 1 Comment